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Formalist Analysis Of The Story “The Other Woman”

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“Lust” quoted by Maria Bastida “makes people long for something that they should not long for”. Lust makes love and relationships undesirable. It is the nature of human but needs to be tucked inside of them, for if they don’t, they will lose control. The story of “The Other Woman” shows how a lustful husband made his wife miserable and desperate for his love and affection. The author, Virgillio Samonte is from Laoag, Ilocos Norte. His selection “The Other Woman” won third prize in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 1954-1955. The story to be analyzed is about Nana Cecilia who cared and loved her ailing husband Tata Manuel.

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The analysis will use a formalistic approach in which, a critic can show how the various parts of a work are welded together to make an organic whole. As cited by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Organic Unity, it is the whole being of harmonious involvement of all the parts of literary work which entails that the text should be analyzed as a whole not to be analyzed by chunk. The theme, characters, and conflict will be the basis of analyzing the literary text.

The theme of the story is the unconditional love and care of a wife to her husband. Nana Cecilia, the wife of Tata Manuel is a mirror of how great a heart of a wife could be. Even though her husband has cheated on her many times and how bad he treated her (asking her to sleep at separate rooms), she still stayed with him and took care of him when he was terminally ill. She took the chance of his husband’s last days to stay with him and think that finally, Manuel became hers.

The characters are Tata Manuel and Nana Cecilia. Tata Manuel is Nana Cecilia’s philandering husband who keeps on preying mistresses and even their house servants are preys to his desires when he has still possessed a healthy body. On the other hand, Nana Cecilia or Nana Celing is a woman who loves her husband dearly. When her husband was already bedridden, she still did not give up her love for him and she stayed by his side to take care of him. Based on the dialogues from the story, she is also a possessive wife. She drove away the female neighbors who wanted to visit and help her take care of her sick husband.

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